Actionable Genome Consortium to Define Best Practices for Cancer Genetics
September 8, 2014 | Gene sequencing company Illumina has joined with four major cancer centers to found the Actionable Genome Consortium, an organization dedicated to publicizing standards for cancer genetics that can be broadly shared across care providers. Members Illumina, Memorial Sloan Kettering, MD Anderson, Dana-Farber and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center will form a guide to best practices in genetic characterization of a patient's tumor, from preparation of tissue samples all the way to compiling a clinical report that can inform treatment. The move comes shortly after Illumina announced it plans to create a new gene panel covering numerous cancer-related mutations, for use as a companion diagnostic with multiple targeted therapies. As the only company to shepherd a next generation sequencing-based test through FDA approval to date, Illumina can offer the Actionable Genome Consortium unique insights into the clinical use of sequencing technologies. Meanwhile, the Consortium's recommendations are likely to encourage the uptake of genetic testing in oncology centers that lack individual expertise in interpreting the results, a trend that can only be positive for Illumina as it moves more decisively into this arena.